The Syria government says it will allow U.N. weapons inspectors to access the site of an apparent chemical weapons attack outside Damascus. Last week's attack left hundreds of civilians dead, and could lead to a military response by the U.S. and other western nations. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is on a planned trip to Indonesia.
Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 3:33 am
When it comes to action in Syria, the U.S. has moved from will it — to what will it do? Analyst Aaron David Miller, a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center, tells Renee Montagne that it is "almost inevitable that the president will authorize some form of military action" in Syria after last week's alleged chemical attack against civilians.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are better known for their verbal fights and occasional border clashes, but for the first time since 1976, they battled on a soccer field in Kabul.
Some 6,000 rabid Afghan fans cheered on their team, clad in red uniforms. There were horns, flags, and face paint. It looked like any soccer game in the world, except for all the riot police, snipers, and Blackhawk helicopters passing overhead periodically.
Ahmad Mirwais, a 27-year-old tailor, was one of those lucky enough to score a ticket.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
Coming up, a look at the minority Christian population in the Middle East. But first, this week, video out of Syria showed shocking images of civilians, many of them women and children, choking and convulsing on the floor of a hospital near Damascus. The opposition called it the evidence of a chemical attack.
You heard him mention his concerns about a possible chemical weapons attack last week outside Damascus. U.N. inspectors are being allowed to visit the sites in question tomorrow. Gary Samore worked in the Obama White House as the coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction. He explains that once inspectors arrive on site, they'll work to figure out what substance was used.
Thousands of Syrian refugees entered Iraq last week, fleeing the violence between extremist groups and Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with Alan Paul of the charity Save the Children about the flow of refugees entering Iraq.
Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 8:32 am
The writer is a Syrian citizen living in Damascus who is not being further identified out of safety concerns.
Damascenes are shedding tears for the fallen and expressing fear and confusion in the aftermath of what could prove to be one of the worst chemical attacks in recent years. Residents are left unsure of how to protect their health in the wake of the incident.
Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 2:08 pm
Technicians on Saturday are set to cast 20 tons of glass for the third of seven ultra-precise primary mirrors that will make up the 72-foot Giant Magellan Telescope, scheduled for completion in northern Chile's arid Atacama Desert in 2020.
The parabolic mirror will be cast at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The molten borosilicate, made by the Ohara Corporation, will be spun cast at 2140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 2:29 pm
(This post last updated at 4:20 p.m. ET)
President Obama has been meeting with his national security team to discuss reports of the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons, a White House official said Saturday, amid strong hints that a U.S. military strike was on the table.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The trial of a former high-flying Chinese politician began this week. Bo Xilai is accused of corruption, bribery and stealing millions of dollars, and the possible implications for China's leadership could be huge. We're joined now by Cheng Li. He's the director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
Sandwiched between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, the island of Idjwi had no Internet access until last month. Host Scott Simon speaks with Jacques Sebisaho, a doctor and native of Idjwi Island, about how the community has responded to the Internet.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Egypt continues to grapple with fallout from the military overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July. President Morsi was propelled to electoral power through the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, the organization is under intense pressure as security forces arrest its members. Many hundreds have been killed in a security crackdown and a political solution seems all but impossible. And some fear that Egypt is returning to a military state. NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report.
China's Communist Party had hoped a high profile corruption trial this week would send a message that the party punishes its own and operates under the rule of law. But so far, the trail of former Politburo member Bo Xilai hasn't quite worked out that way. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports on how China's biggest case in decades is toying with the expectations of the millions of people following the trial.
The partial reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen, which was the focus of a recent terror alert, suggests that the immediate threat of a terrorist attack has passed. Officials cannot be certain whether the alert disrupted planning for a possible attack, whether the threat was a bluff or whether the intelligence that led to the alert was flawed. The issuance of warnings is a specialty within the intelligence community, but the recent episode underscores how much uncertainty surrounds the field.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. There are growing calls for international military action if it's proved that Syria used chemical weapons in an attack this week that's believed to have killed more than 1,000 people. Britain, France and Turkey are among those calling for a forceful response. In an interview today on CNN, President Obama sounded a cautious note.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama continued his back-to-school bus tour today, visiting college campuses in New York and Pennsylvania. Back here in Washington, D.C., administration officials wrestled with how the U.S. should respond to this week's alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. Obama says Wednesday's attack around Damascus, if verified, raises grave concern and could threaten core national interests of the United States.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 2:14 pm
A military jury has sentenced Robert Bales, the U.S. Army staff sergeant who admitted to killing 16 Afghan civilians in 2012, to life in prison without parole. During the punishment hearings held this week, Bales was confronted by family members of victims and people who survived the attacks of March 11, 2012.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:04 pm
Syria's war has reached another grim milestone: Two United Nations agencies announced Friday that 1 million Syrian children have now fled their homeland in an uprising and civil war that's well into its third year.
The accompanying slide show provides a glimpse of some of these children and the conditions they are living in.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee, Michel Martin is away. Coming up, for some music fans, Robin Thicke's megahit "Blurred Lines" sounds distinctly familiar, kind of like an old Marvin Gaye song. The Barbershop guys step to the mic with their verdict. That's ahead. But first, the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington has given the nation an opportunity to reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King and the movement that he helped to shape.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 10:17 am
Authorities in India say they've arrested one man and identified four others in the alleged gang rape of a young photojournalist, apparently the latest victim in a series of recent sexual assaults that have shaken the country.
NPR's Julie McCarthy reports that the woman, in her early 20s, and a male colleague were doing a photo shoot of old buildings in south Mumbai when the incident took place early Thursday evening local time.
From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn on the trial of Bo Xilai
Chinese authorities clamped down Friday on information coming out of the high-profile corruption trial of one-time rising political star Bo Xilai.
As NPR's Anthony Kuhn reported on Morning Edition, during Thursday's opening day in court Bo appeared to run circles around the judges and prosecutors. He denied any guilt, claimed a confession he gave had been coerced and called the testimony of his own wife "laughable."
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:05 pm
While the U.S. and its allies cannot move militarily against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence" that Assad's forces have used chemical weapons, the time within which a decision about such action must be made has been shortened, President Obama tells CNN.
A Canadian dentist bought one of John Lennon's molars at auction for $31,000. And now, Michael Zuk plans to use the tooth to clone the former Beatle. The DNA sequencing is already underway. But cloning technology is not quite there yet, so Zuk is biding his time in other ways. He released a parody song called "Love Me Tooth," as in...
(Singing) Love, love me tooth.
Sorry, I just did that. What would John Lennon think of all of this? Probably just say, let it be.
In Egypt, members of the Muslim Brotherhood are trying to get supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi back into the streets.
But the military appears to be consolidating its power.
There were signs of Egypt's shifting fortunes on Thursday when former President Hosni Mubarak was flown from jail to house arrest in a hospital. A few dozen people celebrated outside the prison as Mubarak, 85, was ferried away by helicopter.
Mubarak's move to house arrest was just one development in a tumultuous week in the Middle East. The civil war in Syria also took a stunning turn. It appears chemical weapons were used in an attack on a rebel area on a far larger scale than anything that's been alleged before.
To reflect on the state of the region we called Shadee Hameed. He's an analyst with the Brookings Center in Doha and a frequent guest on our program. Good morning.